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USA Roster vs. New Zealand

  • 01 Jul 2019

Photo: Travis Prior for USA Rugby

Following a 38-5 loss to No. 2 England, the U.S. Women’s National Team will enter Round Two of Women’s Rugby Super Series 2019 against the No. 1 and reigning World Cup Champions New Zealand. The match takes place this Tues, July 2 at 5:15 PM PT at the Elite Athlete Training Center in Chula Vista. A LIVE stream is available at



Head Coach Rob Cain has made 10 changes to his starting XV from last week’s matchup against England, with another five adjustments to the reserves.

Among the changes are up to three Eagles who will play for the first time this tournament including starting hooker Katy Augustyn, center Amy Talei Bonte and reserve Nicole Strasko. Augustyn played her last test match in the USA’s victory over Ireland last November while Bonte and Strasko played their last test matches in 2015 and 2017, respectively.

Tuesday’s lineup will also see Captain Kate Zackary shift to No. 8 with Bui Baravilala playing fullback and Bulou Mataitoga in at wing. Five players who were reserves last match against England are starters this week including prop Nick James, lock Alycia Washington, flanker Elizabeth Cairns, newly capped flyhalf Katana Howard and wing Kris Thomas.

The full match day roster owns 217 test caps.


1. Hope Rogers – USA Sevens (26)

2. Katy Augustyn – Berkeley (33)

3. Nick James – Houston Athletic (7)

4. Stacey Bridges – Beantown (37)

5. Alycia Washington – New York (18)

6. Elizabeth Cairns – Life West (9)

7. Joyce Taufa – Lindenwood University (4)

8. Kate Zackary (C) – San Diego (10)

9. Ashlee Byrge – USA Sevens (1)

10. Katana Howard – Twin Cities (1)

11. Kris Thomas – USA Sevens (8)

12. Alev Kelter – USA Sevens (10)

13. Amy Talei Bonte – Life West (1)

14. Bulou Mataitoga – Berkeley (1)

15. Bui Baravilala – San Diego (7)


16. Catherine Benson – Prop, Life West (18)

17. Charli Jacoby – Prop, Chicago North Shore (1)

18. Joanna Kitlinkski – Hooker, Glendale (9)

19. Nicole Strasko – Loose forward, Life West (3)

20. Kristine Sommer – Lock/loose fwd, Seattle/Harlequins (8)

21. Olivia Ortiz – Scrumhalf, Davenport University (1)

22. Emily Henrich – Center, Dartmouth College (3)

23. Fane Haungatau – Center, USA Sevens (1)

STAFFGeneral Manager | Emilie BydwellHead Coach | Rob CainAssistant Coach | Jamie Burke

Assistant Coach | Kate Daley

Assistant Coach Rich Ashfield

Coach/Team Manager | Jenny Lui

Head Strength & Conditioning Coach | Ian Jones

Head Performance Analyst | Dave Gardner

Team Doctor | Terence Cronin

Head Athletic Trainer | Katherine Henry

Athletic Trainer | Danielle Allen


Last Friday, the Women’s Eagles opened Super Series against No. 2 England where six U.S. players earned their first cap. The group displayed a much improved performance from their battle with the English in November where they lost by a 52-point margin as opposed to the 33-point margin on Friday.

The USA kept the Red Roses within two points for the first 24 minutes of action and showcased early momentum from a brilliant try by Hope Rogers in the 16th minute. Two of England’s tries came from offensive mistakes by the U.S., leading to a more dramatic scoreline but equally outlining fixable areas for the Americans. Following recovery, daily analysis and more skill building as a group, the Women’s Eagles will have a clearer picture on how to sharpen their attack against the Black Ferns.


Still buzzing from their hard-fought 35-20 victory over Canada last Friday, the World No. 1 New Zealanders will again present a threat on Tuesday. The next round will be another valuable opportunity for the USA women to adapt and grow as a unit against the best in the world.


“There were lots of positives from the England game. We showed that when we get the small things right and in the right order we can create and put one of the best teams in the world under pressure, stopping them doing what they want, when they want.

“Full credit to England they took their chances well, for us we know we created some headaches for ourselves, it’s a process we are going through, we will get better at managing some of the headaches we created for ourselves through the experience of the last game. I think we need to remember the type of pressure England gave us and how that was the very first time many of our group had experienced that pressure before.

“The great thing is that we have another exciting prospect ahead of us, with the aspiration to use those key learning moments through our play. Having the players experience this type of pressure, tempo and best teams in the world will allow them to make another step in the direction we are all headed as a group.”


A YOUNG TEAM Under the direction of Head Coach Rob Cain who began his tenure just last year, the U.S. Women’s National Team saw 17 new players earn their first cap in November, with another six to debut last week against No. 2 England. The match-day roster against No. 1 New Zealand features eight players who made their national team debut in the last seven months with the full group owning 217 cumulative appearances.

COLLEGE COACH AND PLAYER SUIT UP TOGETHERDartmouth Rugby’s Assistant Coach Stacey Bridges and standout player Emily Henrich are both competing with the U.S. National Team. Bridges — a veteran amongst the group — owns 37 test appearances. Henrich, who just won the MA Sorenson Award given to one of the best collegiate rugby players in the country, has made three national team appearances. Following the Women’s Super Series, Henrich will switch over to sevens and compete in the 2019 Pan American Games.

YOUNGEST PLAYER TO BE CAPPED 18-year old Fane Haungatau became the youngest [15s] Women’s Eagle to ever be capped last week when she debuted against England. Haungatau is part of the USA Sevens Residency program working towards appearances in both the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Rugby World Cup in 15s in 2021.

FRESH FROM WINNING GOLD Kris Thomas and Alev Kelter join the U.S. Women’s National Team in 15s after winning a historic Gold medal weeks ago with the USA Women’s Sevens. Thomas and Kelter just concluded a momentous season in rugby sevens where the United States qualified for Tokyo 2020, won five medals in their six tournament appearances and reached a world No. 2 ranking. Both are seasoned athletes in 15s having each appeared in Rugby World Cup Ireland 2017.


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